Natalie Parkinson
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Rating of Model S was reaffirmed for the 2014 model year

Tesla Motors Inc., the electric-car maker being reviewed by U.S. regulators over battery-related fires, said the safety rating for its Model S sedan is reaffirmed for the 2014 model year.

The flagship vehicle from the Palo Alto, California-based company, with a $70,000 base price, retains a 5-star rating for crashworthiness, the highest designation given by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. The agency opened a review of the car last month after fires in Tennessee and Washington state occurred when drivers struck metal debris.

“People that really want a Model S have researched it and know it’s a very safe car,” said Jessica Caldwell, an analyst for, a vehicle pricing and data service in Santa Monica, California. “Those same buyers are also likely to dismiss concerns about the battery.”